How Can Students Avoid Plagiarism?

Plagiarism means using another’s work without giving credit. You must put others’ words in quotation marks and cite your source(s) and must give citations when using others’ ideas, even if those ideas are paraphrased in your own words [1].

For many students, time is scarce, with numerous tasks like research, meetings, writing papers, reading books, engaging in academic discussions, and more. The pressure to manage everything may lead some to resort to plagiarism, but this has detrimental effects on both their career and character. Academic integrity and responsible behavior are fundamental expectations. Integrating others’ work into your ideas is essential for intellectual growth, as long as it’s done ethically and intelligently.


So how do we avoid plagiarism?
Most of the writers do not know that plagiarism is a serious problem. Plagiarism can range from simple dishonesty (minor copy paste/any discrepancy) to a more serious problem (major discrepancy/duplication of manuscript) when the authors do cut‑copy‑paste from the original source without giving adequate credit to the main source [2].

To prevent plagiarism, scholars should adequately prepare, thoroughly understand the subject, contribute original research, include accurate citations, and validate the paper for plagiarism.

Before submitting your next manuscript, reflect on the following questions to ensure you’re presenting your best and most authentic work:


Do I have a good understanding of the topic?
A thorough understanding of your subject reduces the likelihood of relying on others’ words and ideas. Before writing, immerse yourself in research from diverse sources like books, journals, videos, and articles. Consulting multiple sources broadens your knowledge and minimizes the risk of unintentional copying or plagiarism. Conversely, depending on a single source increases the chance of using its words or ideas.


Do I have something to contribute to this subject?
If you lack new insights or original ideas on a topic, you’re essentially summarizing or paraphrasing others’ work. As T. S. Eliot eloquently puts it, “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.” This succinctly captures the essence of creative appropriation.


Are my notes thorough?
Take thorough notes and meticulously track original sources. Develop the practice of documenting bibliographic details such as authors, titles, page numbers, and web addresses. Always note your own sources; avoid relying solely on another author’s footnotes. suggests using colored highlights to differentiate between original ideas and sourced content, making it easier to create parenthetical references and submit your paper promptly. Making this a best practice will streamline your research process and ensure timely paper submission.


Is this idea or argument entirely my own?
Though seemingly straightforward, distinguishing between your ideas and others’ work can be challenging for readers. Ensure clarity when integrating external sources with your own ideas. Even with citations, vague language may inadvertently lead to plagiarism. It’s crucial for readers to discern your original contributions. Regularly check for plagiarism and employ strategies to prevent it.


Have I written this in my own words?
Even simple words and rough paraphrases must be properly attributed. If not, quote directly from the passage or rewrite it in your own words while giving credit to the original author. According to the New Webster’s Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language, plagiarism is defined as “the unauthorized use of the language and thought of another author and the representation of them as one’s own” (508). It’s generally advisable not to copy more than two words together verbatim.


Do I have to cite this?
When incorporating direct quotes, paraphrases, or borrowed ideas, always cite the original source. This extends to tables, maps, graphs, and data. Familiarize yourself with footnotes, endnotes, and parenthetical references to ensure proper attribution. Citing sources adds credibility to your argument, demonstrating your research capabilities and ability to contribute to existing ideas. Remember to enclose quotes in quotation marks.


Have I done everything I can to avoid plagiarism?
Utilizing plagiarism checking services such as those offered by IRP can help evaluate your paraphrasing and anti-plagiarism skills effectively. Robust plagiarism checker software offers a chance to steer clear of career-ending mistakes, gain a deeper understanding of plagiarism, and navigate around it. This could mean the distinction between success and embarrassment in your academic or professional endeavors.


Success story or flop show?
Ensuring accurate source citation is essential, whether your research reaches a broad audience or a limited one. Drawing a clear line between educational innovation and plagiarism is crucial. Start your research early, use quotations or paraphrases appropriately, and master citation styles like MLA. Utilize tools like IRP plagiarism check service to enhance academic accountability and ethical writing practices. These practices will benefit you throughout your career. You can quote me on that.



  1. Sharad, A. (2024). P Plagiarism Rules: Site Rules. Site Rules.
  2. Kumar, P. M., Priya, N. S., Musalaiah, S. V. V. S., & Nagasree, M. (2014). Knowing and avoiding plagiarism during scientific writing. Annals of medical and health sciences research4(3), 193-198.

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